Acetaminophen is an analgesic with intense anti-inflammatory and antifebrile action which is used for the treatment of the pain syndrome. Acetaminophen is the brand name of Paracetamol. It is a non-narcotic analgesic drug of the central action which arrests pain by means of blocking COX1 and COX2. It inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins that take part in the formation of the inflammatory process.
The antifebrile effect is achieved by means of influencing on the centers of thermoregulation in the brain (hypothalamus). Acetaminophen provides a mild pharmacological action, and therefore it does not have peculiar side effects for NSAIDs and is well tolerated. Even a regular use of Acetaminophen for infectious-inflammatory disease or pain syndrome does not cause side effects in the gastro-intestinal tract.
Acetaminophen belongs to a list of the important drugs from WHO and is a first drug line in the treatment of the infectious-inflammatory diseases in many countries.
Indications for the use
- Pain during trauma and burns
- Fever accompanied by infectious and inflammatory disease
- Feverish syndrome resulting from infectious inflammation
In what dose is Acetaminophen used?
The Acetaminophen pills should be used orally one hour before or in 2 hours after meals. Food slows down the onset of the effect, and therefore a patient may not feel the therapeutic action of Paracetamol.
The standard therapeutic dose of Acetaminophen is 500 mg for patients over 12 years old. The drug may be used 1 to 4 times per day depending on the symptoms of the disease. The maximal daily dose is 4 g (1000 mg 4 times per day) but this high dose may be used only by doctor’s recommendation.
The maximal everyday dose of Acetaminophen is individual for children:
- Children at the age of 9-12 years are taken not more than 2 g per day
- Children at the age of 3-9 are taken not more than 1-1,5 g per day
- Children under 3 years old are taken not more than 500 mg per day
A great advantage of Acetaminophen is a good intolerance and effective therapeutic dose. The overdose may happen during the use of high doses – not more than 10 g per day, however every body reacts differently, and so do not exceed the recommended dose of 4 g per day.
In case of the overdose, liver often suffers, and vomiting, allergic reaction, ailment, and stomachache appear. Consult a doctor if those side effects appear.
- Ethanol favors a development of acute pancreatitis during the interaction with Acetaminophen.
- Using Acetaminophen with other NSAIDs in high doses may cause side effects.
- Acetaminophen enhances the effect of the indirect anticoagulants and a probability of the liver affection by hepatotoxic drugs.
- Do not take Acetaminophen during severe liver affections, viral hepatitis, chronic alcoholism and liver affections as a result of alcoholism, and children under 3 months are not prescribed this medicine.
- Acetaminophen may be used during pregnancy and lactation but carefully and by doctor’s prescription only.
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